FOLLOWUP: Pedestrian hit by Metro bus in White Center

February 20th, 2018 at 2:55 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | No Comments »

On Sunday, we reported on an incident that sent a pedestrian to the hospital after he was hit at 15th/100th. Few details were available at the time, but we have just obtained more information now from KCSO Sgt. Ryan Abbott:

It appears a 59-year-old male was struck by a 60’ long double articulated Metro bus which was southbound on 15 AVE SW approaching SW 100. The driver stopped at the Metro stop near the NW corner of the intersection. The victim was on the west sidewalk and stumbled off the sidewalk and into the path of the bus as it drove away. The right rear tires of the bus struck the victim and he sustained critical leg injuries.

The driver had no idea he had struck the pedestrian and the 40-50 passengers on the bus at the time also did not notice that the pedestrian was struck. The victim was transported to Harborview for treatment.

No information yet on how the victim is doing.

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WHITE CENTER WEATHER: Snow right now, and probably more later this week

February 20th, 2018 at 1:09 pm Posted in Weather, White Center news | No Comments »

Been seeing some snow? The National Weather Service has sent out an alert about it – a “short-term forecast” alert:

… A very light dusting of snow on grassy or cold surfaces may occur, especially along the west side of Puget Sound from Bremerton to Hood Canal, south of Tacoma in Pierce county, and hilltops around the Seattle metro area. Most spots will just have passing flurries with no accumulation.

Even if this doesn’t amount to much, the longer-term forecast says we’re likely to see more, with multiple chances tomorrow through Saturday.

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Pedestrian hit by driver, 15th SW closed north of 100th for investigation

February 18th, 2018 at 5:35 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | 1 Comment »

Thanks for the tips – 15th SW is blocked north of SW 100th because of a King County Sheriff’s Office crash investigation. Deputies at the scene include the special team that investigates serious incidents like this. They tell us a driver hit a male pedestrian, who was taken to Harborview Medical Center; no information on his condiion. They expect to be here investigating for a few more hours.

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POWER OUTAGE UPDATE: 4,100+ in White Center, Shorewood, and beyond

February 18th, 2018 at 3:16 pm Posted in utilities, White Center news | 1 Comment »

3:16 PM: Seattle City Light says 4,100 homes and businesses are without power in White Center, Shorewood, and points south. No cause listed yet; the restoration estimate is 9 pm, but keep in mind that this is only an estimate – could be much sooner or much later.

3:50 PM: The outage map now attributes this outage to a tree.

4:22 PM: Looks like almost everyone is back on.

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About last night’s White Center attack

February 14th, 2018 at 9:00 pm Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | 7 Comments »

If you missed our coverage of last night’s White Center attack that injured an employee of Cascade Heights Veterinary Clinic, it’s on our partner site West Seattle Blog – we originally heard about the helicopter search from people on the city side of the line, so that’s where we started the story, and never got around to crossposting here. Meantime, if you want to talk with deputies about crime/safety concerns, Friday is the day for Coffee with a Cop at the White Center Starbucks (16th/100th), as noted here last week – 9 am to 11 am, just drop in when you can.

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FOLLOWUP: Highline Schools levy passing

February 13th, 2018 at 11:56 pm Posted in Election, Schools, White Center news | No Comments »

From Highline Public Schools:

It appears the Highline Public Schools levy measure will pass, with early results showing 57.67 percent voting in favor of renewal.

“I am grateful to voters for their support of our students and schools. Local funding for our schools is critical,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “It allows us to provide the quality education our community expects for our children, which goes beyond the minimum funded by the state.”

The levy bridges the gap between what the state funds and the education Highline provides students. The approved levy pays for critical needs, including teachers, staff, school nurses, safety and security officers, counselors, social workers, special education, Camp Waskowitz and athletics.

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ELECTION DAY: Don’t forget to get your ballot in!

February 13th, 2018 at 1:24 am Posted in Education, Highline School District, White Center news | No Comments »

It’s Tuesday – and that means it’s Election Day. Highline Public Schools has a levy replacement on the ballot, and you have until tonight to cast your vote – if you’re sending it in via postal mail, you’ll want to be sure it carries today’s postmark; if you are dropping it off in a ballot dropbox, get it to the one at White Center Library (1439 SW 107th) before 8 pm. Look for first-night results here around 8:15 pm. (Looking for levy info? Here’s how the district explains it.)

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UPDATE: Power outage blamed on vault fire

February 11th, 2018 at 7:29 pm Posted in fire, utilities, White Center news | 2 Comments »

7:29 PM: Out of power? You’re far from alone. 3,000-plus customers in White Center and south West Seattle, because of a vault fire near 22nd/Roxbury. (And Roxbury is currently blocked by the Seattle Fire response.) We’re covering the outage on partner site West Seattle Bloggo here for the latest.

8:41 PM:
The City Light map shows just about everyone should be back on. If you’re not, please be sure they know – 206-684-3000.

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ROAD-CLOSURE ALERT: Work at 26th SW/SW 112th next week

February 9th, 2018 at 11:46 pm Posted in Traffic, Transportation, White Center news | No Comments »

Road alert from King County – drainage work will close 26th SW/SW 112th starting Monday morning and continuing until Friday afternoon. We will keep an eye on it in case it reopens early, of course.

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4 White Center-area organizations get King County grants

February 7th, 2018 at 9:30 am Posted in King County, White Center news | No Comments »

Four organizations in unincorporated North Highline are receiving King County Community Service Area Grants, as just announced:

King County Executive Dow Constantine today announced 65 volunteer-led community events and projects that will be expanded in unincorporated communities with grants of up to $3,000 each.

The Community Service Area Grants will enhance projects and events, such as First Aid classes, local music events, salmon habitat restoration, emergency preparedness, purchase a refrigerator for a food bank, and more.

“Volunteer-driven projects that refurbish playgrounds and pools, restore forest trails, and add street lights make our communities safer, more vibrant, and better connected,” said Executive Constantine. “Our investments will catalyze the work led by volunteers so it benefits more people throughout King County.”

The community groups successfully competed for a total of $90,000 in grants, which range between $290 and $3,000 each. Community organizations are required to match at least one quarter of the total project costs. The projects must be accessible to all residents, regardless of race, income, or language spoken.

The local recipients (see the full countywide list here):

WHITE CENTER
Sea Mar CHC – Wall mural 8 $ 1,750
Southwest Little League – Baseball equipment – bats – $ 1,000
White Center Community Development Association – White Center Spring Clean Event – $ 1,000
Whitewater Aquatics Management Pool motor – $ 2,250

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FOLLOWUP: White Center Chamber of Commerce’s business survey, open house

February 6th, 2018 at 1:19 pm Posted in Businesses, White Center Chamber of Commerce, White Center news | No Comments »

In our coverage of last week’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting, we mentioned that the White Center Chamber of Commerce is relaunching. Today, a followup: First, there’s a survey for WC businesspeople, about your priorities – if that means you, you can answer it here. Second, the survey results are to be announced at an open house event on Wednesday, February 21st – Miss Sheryl’s Ballet, whose proprietor announced the Chamber relaunch at the NHUAC meeting, is hosting; from the announcement:

The White Center Chamber of Commerce, with support from the White Center Community Development Association, has an open house to share the results of a survey to see what the highest concerns of business owners are, gain feedback about White Center, and to develop interest of revitalizing the White Center Chamber. All business owners are encouraged to attend, and you can come anytime between 4 PM to 8 PM.

Miss Sheryl’s is at 9650 16th SW.

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Coffee With A Cop in White Center on February 16

February 5th, 2018 at 1:08 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | 4 Comments »

Want to talk with your King County Sheriff’s Office deputies about a crime/safety concern? Here’s your next chance – 9 am-11 am Friday, February 16, at White Center Starbucks! It’s “Coffee With A Cop,” just announced by KCSO. “No agendas or speeches – just a chance to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know the officers in your neighborhood.”

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SUNDAY: Community Advisory Committee for Camp Second Chance

February 3rd, 2018 at 11:24 pm Posted in Myers Way, White Center news | No Comments »

The first Sunday afternoon of the month brings the Community Advisory Committee meeting for Camp Second Chance, the City of Seattle-sanctioned encampment near the entrance to the city-owned Myers Way Parcels. It’s the usual time and place, 2 pm at Arrowhead Gardens‘ community room (9200 2nd SW). This time, we took the liberty of asking the city Human Services Department about a couple things that seem to come up every month – the camp operator’s contract, and what’s involved in renewing the camp’s permit for a second sanctioned year. Both are addressed in this preview published Friday on West Seattle Blog.

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Lots learned @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s first 2018 meeting

February 2nd, 2018 at 2:35 am Posted in Libraries, North Highline UAC, White Center news | 3 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Schools, trash, libraries, public safety – many services that touch most local lives were on the agenda Thursday night as the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council led its first community meeting of the year.

HIGHLINE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Aaron Garcia from the White Center Community Development Association and Duggan Harman from the school district‘s Finance Department spoke about the February 13 levy vote.

It’s a levy renewal, at a lower rate than the previous levy. They showed this video featuring a student explaining the levy:

That led to a general discussion of the state continuing to underfund public education. That’s not all directly in voters’ control – but this levy is. You’ll find more information about the levy and the voting process here. Get your ballot in by 8 pm on Election Day (February 13th) if you’re dropping it off at the White Center Library dropbox – or if you’re putting it in the mail, be certain it’ll be postmarked by that day.

KING COUNTY’S DRAFT COMPREHENSIVE SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN: A guest from the county gave a presentation on this draft plan that’s in the middle of a two-month public-comment period. He had these stats:
-King County serves 37 cities (not Seattle and Milton)
-6 urban transfer stations (Bow Lake is the closest one)
-4 rural transfer facilities
-9 closed landfills
-1 open landfill (Cedar Hills)

He said the county is aiming for 70 percent recycling – but the current rate is only 52 percent. And that’s part of the problem leading to the impending maxing out of the Cedar Hills Landfill, which will be full by 2028 unless new capacity is developed. Three options are being addressed for that last challenge – “further develop” the landfill to extend its life to 2040, take waste by rail to another landfill outside the county, or “build a waste-to-energy facility in King County.” (Seattle already sends its trash out of the area – to an Oregon landfill.) The timeline for sorting this all out is due around year’s end, with final state approval next year. They’ve already had two public open houses about all this and there’s one more, February 7th at the King County Library Service Center in Issaquah.

An attendee asked what “waste to energy” might mean. Depends on where the plant would be built, was the reply – and the plant itself would cost more than a billion dollars to build. And even if trash were burned to generate electricity, that would leave ash that would have to be taken to a landfill somewhere. Asked how Governor Inslee’s carbon-tax proposal would affect that, the county rep said they weren’t sure yet.

You can read the draft plan (and find out more about it and the comment process) by going here.

Also – a “fix it” event is coming up in White Center, 9:30 am-12:30 pm March 24th – find out more about that here.

METRO TRANSIT POLICE: Resource Officer Deputy Michael Martinez says he’s “in White Center all the time” as part of the job. He came with several concerns – including the 15th/Roxbury bus stop’s ongoing troubles, and planning for the Route 120 conversion to the RapidRide H Line. The route’s “pretty much going to stay the same in White Center,” with four fewer stops, he said. 15th/107th, 100th/15th, Roxbury/15th, 20th/Roxbury are the stops that’ll be in White Center, and the others will be removed, he said. Construction will start toward year’s end and continue through next year, for the route to be launched in 2020. He said that Metro plans to do what it can to minimize impacts on parking – just a handful of spots will be affected. They’re hoping to put in a crosswalk at 15th/107th (to/from the library). The stairs near Greenbridge will be better-illuminated. He stressed that the county wants to hear any concerns at this stage of planning.

Asked about the 15th/Roxbury bus stop and its challenged, Deputy Martinez said there are plans for cameras and lightning at the shelters in the area.

He also reminded everyone that Transit Police has only about 76 officers for the entire county – no more than six on any given shift. Two of them cover “from Roxbury to Federal Way.” They check the trouble spots, like 15th/Roxbury, several times a shift – but “as is the nature of police work,” they’re not always in the right place at the right time. Things have been “a little better lately” (not counting the 16th SW double murder, which was not at/near a transit stop), he said. He promised monthly updates.

ALSO FROM THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE: Captain Rick Bridges, operations captain for Precinct 4 (which includes unincorporated North Highline), introduced himself. He’s been with KCSO for 19 years and says he’s on his “fourth tour” of this precinct. Lots of change as Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht gets her staff in place – former TV reporter Liz Rocca is her new chief of staff – he said. (william.bridges@kingcounty.gov)

LIBRARY UPDATES: NHUAC heard from King County Library System‘s regional manager Angie Benedetti (whose jurisdiction includes WC, Greenbridge, and Boulevard Park), community conduct coordinator Melissa Munn (whose responsibilities includes security and patron behavior issues), and facilities-design coordinator Adrianne Ralph.

First, they brought an update on the “jewel,” the almost-two-years-old White Center Library. It’s increased circulation and usage, she said. About the recent vandalism, she said the branch has had seven different incidents of window damage since the library opened – from a dog scratching on the window to the November 10th incident that led to six windows being damaged. Total repair costs for all incidents is $42,000. Insurance covered some of that, Benedetti said, but there’s about a $10,000 threshold. She said the number includes “about $12,000 in preventive maintenance that we’ve done,” including adding film on exteriors and interiors of the windows.

A bicycle-repair center that had been installed at the library had to be removed within the first few months because the tools kept getting stolen, she said. They also, after window problems started happening, “removed every single rock on the property.” But – “that didn’t help, whoever it was that was doing it was bringing their own rocks at that point.” And she said, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office, it wasn’t just the library getting targeted – other businesses were getting hit by vandals too. Meantime, they also have a trespass agreement with KCSO so if they “see anyone around the library during closed hours” they are empowered to “move them along.” This includes signage to warn people to stay off the site.

Asked if the glass usage could be reduced – the library team said basically, no. In fact, even the old library had significant window-breakage problems, they added. And overall, the library move did not lead to a major increase in trouble. In response to a question, Benedetti also said someone was reported to have been arrested for rock-throwing, and they haven’t had a problem since that arrest. And she and her collagues noted that other areas of the county were having problems too – this isn’t just a White Center thing and isn’t just a library thing. Nonetheless, at least one attendee said she thinks the community should get more information about these problems, more often.

The Boulevard Park Library‘s interior remodel was explained – including the restrooms being moved to an area with better visibility, to try to reduce the incidence of behavioral incidents. The meeting room is being expanded; “a few more computers” are being added; new finishes; spaces for kids, a dedicated teen area, and more. Ralph said they’re going out to bid soon and hope to have bids back by April, and that “about this time next year” if all goes well, the remodel will be done.

What’ll happen during the eight-or-so-month construction closure? asked NHUAC president Liz Giba. Benedetti said that for one, they’ll be “expanding our mobile services … with materials for all ages.” They might have some kids’ programs at North SeaTac Community Center. They haven’t worked out yet what they might be able to do regarding getting computers into the community for public use.

SEOLA POND FOLLOWUP: Scott Dolfay, who spent a year planning a restoration event at this “unofficial park,” presented a video showing some of what happened on the day that dozens of local students were there to help out from Westside School and Explorer West Middle School. (Added)

He also got private and public donations and grants to help pay for the plants to add to the area, and is working on more. (Here’s some coverage from our partner site West Seattle Blog.) “This is really a special place” that can become “even more special,” Dolfay told NHUAC. He’s also looking into the possibility of introducing native turtles. He expects to be working on the pond area for years.

WHITE CENTER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: A new effort to get it going again is under way, with the first meeting set for February 5th.

REDEVELOPMENT OF WHITE CENTER FOOD BANK/PUBLIC HEALTH SITE: Garcia said discussions are continuing on this, with the potential of affordable housing.

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets first Thursdays most months, 7 pm at North Highline Fire District HQ – watch northhighlineuac.org for updates between meetings. Guests invited for upcoming meetings include KCSO Gang Detective Joe Gagliardi and the library system’s new director.

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Youth sports grants for White Center organizations

January 30th, 2018 at 5:03 pm Posted in King County, Sports, White Center news | Comments Off on Youth sports grants for White Center organizations

Just announced today – with local organizations on the list!

King County Executive Dow Constantine today announced a series of youth sports grants totaling $3.6 million. The grants increase opportunities and access for young people to engage in healthy physical activity through new or improved facilities or programs, especially those serving under-resourced communities.

“From new sports fields in North Bend to a mountain biking program in Auburn, these grants will not only support traditional sports, but will open opportunities and improve access for youth wanting to enjoy more active lifestyles,” said King County Parks Director Kevin Brown.

The Youth and Amateur Sports Grants program evaluates programs and projects based on community need, with an emphasis on projects in underserved areas with low- to moderate-income families and higher health disparities.

“These grants support healthier communities by providing more places and more pathways for kids to play and be active,” said King County Council Chair Joe McDermott. “This is especially important in neighborhoods that have been historically under-resourced, so there is a focus on addressing disparities to access and facilities.”

The grants, which range from $6,750 to $250,000, are administered by the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Parks and Recreation Division.

The program is funded and sustained through a 1 percent car-rental tax authorized by the Legislature in 1993. Funds can only be used for programs or capital projects that increase access to health-enhancing physical activities.

Formerly called the Youth Sports Facilities Grants, King County has awarded roughly $15 million in grants since the program’s inception in 1993, creating nearly 350 new or renovated youth sports facilities throughout the county.

In 2017, the King County Council restructured the program, providing Council-directed grants, as well as competitive grants, to non-profit organizations, local governments, and school districts. Funding is available for sports and recreation programs, as well as for capital improvement projects.

The local grants:

Highline Public Schools
Evergreen Turf Field
$250,000

****

The Salvation Army
Salvation Army White Center Gym
$41,000

White Center Youth Basketball
$21,245

White Center Youth Futsal
$20,168

****

White Center Community Development Association
Wolverine Boosters Summer Camp
$77,100

Whitewater Aquatics Management
Evergreen Pool (White Center)
$46,836

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THURSDAY: Community-involvement opportunities @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

January 28th, 2018 at 11:55 pm Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news | Comments Off on THURSDAY: Community-involvement opportunities @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

Just announced:

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When: Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 7 pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station at 1243 SW 112th Street in White Center
(Parking and Entrance are in the Back of the Station)

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

NHUAC invites you to our first community meeting of 2018! If you want to know what is going on in the hood, the White Center Fire Station on the first Thursday of the month is the place to be. This month’s meeting will be sure to interest and inform.

King County Libraries — We will be joined by Angie Benedetti, Regional Manager for West Region of KCLS; Melissa Munn, Community Conduct Coordinator; and Dri Ralph, Facilities Design Coordinator. They will address the vandalism at the White Center Library, the remodel of the Boulevard Park Library and efforts to continue providing services to the community during the remodel.

Highline Schools — Are you ready to vote? Highline voters will be asked to renew a levy on February 13. Duggan Harman, Chief of Staff & Finance for Highline School District, and Aaron Garcia will explain how a levy is different from a bond, why the levy is needed, what it will cost, and answer your questions.

Health and Environment — Do you know that King County is developing a 20-year plan to protect our environment and health with better management of garbage and recycling? Dorian Waller of King County Solid Waste Division will tell us about. Our feedback is needed. Now is the time to get informed!

Seola Pond Restoration — Speaking of the environment, community member Scott Dolfay will share a video of the recent restoration work done at Seola Pond. Prepare to be inspired!

Safety – Meet Deputy Mike Ramirez, the new Transit Resource Officer for Metro Transit Police.

Then… floor will be yours! Do you have something of community import on your mind? Join us and share at NHUAC’s first community meeting of 2018!

See you Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 7 pm

Because Knowledge + Community = Power!

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FOLLOWUP: Adjacent house fires on 11th SW in White Center both ruled arson; $10,000 reward fund available

January 26th, 2018 at 9:56 pm Posted in Crime, fire, White Center news | Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Adjacent house fires on 11th SW in White Center both ruled arson; $10,000 reward fund available

Thanks to commenter LS for reporting that signs were up at both recently burned houses on 11th SW, declaring the fires to be arson and announcing a $10,000 reward fund.

11025 11th SW, above, is the scene of the most-recent fire – two in the same night, actually – following one at 11031 11th SW, below:

King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West tells WCN, “We suspect both are arson. The second house had a fire inside; then after it was put out, we had to go back for a fire on the deck. No suspects at this time. Of course we don’t know if the two house fires are related, but based on timeframe and locality it appears that way.” If you have any information about either or both, call the number on the signs – 800-55-ARSON.

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UPDATE: Helicopter over White Center

January 26th, 2018 at 12:44 am Posted in Helicopter, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | 2 Comments »

12:44 AM: If you’re seeing/hearing a helicopter over White Center – what we’re hearing in radio communications is that the Guardian One helicopter is helping deputies search for a stolen car.

UPDATE: Here’s what the Guardian One crew tweeted after the incident:

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WHITE CENTER DOUBLE MURDER: King County Sheriff’s Office identifies suspect and asks for help finding him

January 25th, 2018 at 11:19 am Posted in Crime, White Center news | 5 Comments »

Two and a half weeks after the double murder in downtown White Center, the King County Sheriff’s Office has identified a suspect and is asking for help finding him. The photo and announcement are just in:

King County Sheriff’s Detectives are asking for the public’s help locating a man who is wanted for shooting and killing two men in White Center earlier this month.

Merle Charles Buchanan, aka Chucky, 26, is wanted for 2 counts of 1st-Degree Murder for shooting and killing 51-year-old Jose Angel Garcia and 45-year-old Paul Victor Tapia outside of Club Taradise in the 9800 block of 16th Ave SW on January 6th.

Around 1 am on January 6th, deputies responded to the area after receiving multiple reports of a shooting outside of the club. When deputies arrived they located the two victims in the parking lot. Garcia died at the scene and Tapia was transported to Harborview Medical Center, where he later died.

During the investigation, detectives identified the suspect in the shootings as Buchanan. Buchanan is known to frequent Burien, Renton and Seattle and detectives believe he is still in the area.

Buchanan is 5’9” and 195 lbs. In addition to the murder warrants, he also has a Felony Domestic Violence No Contact Order Warrant. He should be considered armed and dangerous. If you see Buchanan or know of his location, please do not approach him. You can call 911 or you can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 by calling Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

The court documents related to the no-contact order say that hours before the shooting, he assaulted a former girlfriend while giving her a ride from Skyway to her home in White Center. She got out of the car in Top Hat and called police. Those documents say that Buchanan’s last-known address is in Auburn. Meantime, we are checking with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to see if there are any documents on file related to the double-murder case.

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White Center house fire under investigation

January 23rd, 2018 at 10:35 pm Posted in fire, White Center news | 2 Comments »

Thanks to Syd for the tip on this – a house fire on 11th SW, south of SW 112th, is under investigation tonight, in the same block where another house caught fire days earlier. The house is vacant, and no injuries are reported. Investigators at the scene weren’t commenting on the possible cause; we’ll be following up tomorrow.

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